I’ve been getting quite a few private inquiries as to what I think of the new Google Knol project… and here’s my thoughts:
- Who knew articles were the way to go? Ohhh yeah, you and I did. :)
- About 99% of the Knol chatter has been that it’s a Wikipedia, Squidoo, Mahalo, Hubpages, Helium, eHow, About.com competitor concept. Ok, so be it. Others have said it validated components of the EzineArticles system model.
- I’ll give Knol this: When I look down and see the Alexa rank of 2 vs. the EzineArticles Alex rank of 318 today… 2 beats 318.
- It’s made me realize that even if EzineArticles is #1 in its niche, our real competitor may be perceived as user-gen sites (with or without a community) that do not have a human editorial curation component due to the speed of publishing the market desires (meaning, everyone wants to click PUBLISH, be reviewed or have their content instantly online for all to see).
- But we already have competitors (not sure I’ll call them that) that auto-accept every content submission instantly, but they have a very difficult time developing market credibility. No kidding, right!
- I predict 2nd tier smaller competitors to EzineArticles may disappear at a faster rate than they are already for many reasons, including the obvious inability to differentiate substantially.
- I do like that Knol is trying to force their users to present themselves in the authorship light instead of hiding behind their content anonymously.
- In their launch they said, “Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors.” Well, that is a differentiation point even though I’m sure they also meant to say that they will censor content submissions with a quality assurance team/process of some kind. We (the Internet community) have already learned what it’s like to allow anyone to publish anything without accountability…a recipe for failure.
- Will Knol make EzineArticles better? Most likely and we appreciate them for that. :]
For now, our plans are to continue to innovate daily by building new tools & services within our proven EzineArticles platform; we’ll continue to build our article exposure/distribution/syndication strength via millions of permission-based emails, hundred thousand+ RSS feeds, widgets, our new API under development, strengthen our most valuable asset (relationship with our registered members & expert authors) by communicating, training & listening… and while I’ll admit to getting less sleep these days, it’s only because I’m so excited about the new stuff we’re rolling out this year.
Your thoughts on Knol?